Susan and I are in San Antonio, Texas this week at the Methodist Large Church Initiative Conference representing Interactive Church Resources. We are here providing the conference with audience response system polling for all their general sessions. It is being hosted at University United Methodist Church with nearly 500 leaders in attendance from around the country. Picture this, UChurch as they call it is a beautiful two campus mega-church linked north and south by a skyway across a four lane road.
The striking thing for us however is the beauty of the UChurch staff and volunteers, each with their red monogrammed shirts, serving at the conference. In addition all the conference attendees we have come in contact with are devoted Christians with a genuine love for Jesus and a desire to serve the body of Christ more effectively. In the midst such Christ-like love and servanthood Susan jokingly said to me “This is enough to make you want to be a Methodist.”
Such encounters always serve to remind me how precious the Body of Christ is. It is an opportunity to gaze at yet another unforeseen facet of its myriad reflection of His glory and be amazed. The church in its very essence is people; not denominations, not doctrines, not ministries, not buildings, not services. It is people expressing Jesus’ love through willing hearts united in one purpose, to accomplish His will on earth. As Rick Warren says, “it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.”
Although Methodists are unique expressions of the Body of Christ our polling revealed that their views, struggles, strengths and weaknesses are the same as the evangelical frame of reference from which we come.
I am so thankful for being a part of the greater body of Christ which takes me way beyond my limited frame of reference. I have always had a deep appreciation for being connected to a wonderful church and having the privilege of regularly fellowshipping with pastors from other churches in our area. But it is definitely a good thing to go to another part of the country, fellowship with other believers from a different tribe, and encounter the same Spirit of Jesus doing similar things in them as He is in us.